Our country is unraveling by the minute,” says a recent letter writer to The Daily Advance. He asks why the Michigan state police provided protection for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer when armed Trump supporters surrounded the governor’s mansion shouting threats of violence, and why St. Louis property owners Mark and Patricia McCloskey were arrested for brandishing weapons aimed against peaceful marchers.

The answer should be clear: the Trump supporters were threatening violence and the demonstrators in St. Louis were not armed; they were walking down a public street, and they were threatening no one. That’s a significant difference.

And that difference is the problem we now have with Trump cultists. They simply do not see or wish to recognize the fences they are crossing. Peaceful demonstrators are not the same as armed mobs. Pointing a gun at another person is a form of assault. Equating the two demonstrates clearly why we have so much division in our country right now. And the letter-writer is correct: The very fabric of our country is unraveling, precisely because the Trump cultists cannot or do not want to see the difference.

Trump is fostering and promoting violence against those he deems insufficiently supportive, and in the process, he is causing enormous damage to our democracy. It is interesting that the letter-writer would reference biblical prophecies: “When men and women of God are silent, when preachers won’t rally their churches to gather and pray for the nation.”

That, too, is evidence of the damage done by Trump: our preachers have been silent about Trump’s abuses of power, his moral and ethical failings, his mendacity, his lack of empathy, his greed, his consorting with dictators who ignore basic human rights in their countries as Trump would like to do in this country. Why are our preachers and religious leaders silent? They are failing us by not calling out sin and evil in our president.

Trump continues to cause dissention by continuing to deny the election result. Katie Shepherd, of the Washington Post, reported on state Sen. Bob Steinburg’s inflammatory Facebook post suggesting that President Trump should declare a national emergency, suspend civil rights and remain in power. Furthering our embarrassment that he is a North Carolina state senator, Steinburg claimed that “somebody’s got something” on judges of the Supreme Court (three of whom were nominated by Trump) because the Supreme Court unanimously declined to hear a baseless election fraud lawsuit that had already been denied by multiple lower courts.

Steinburg alleges that federal law enforcement officials have refused to intervene in a “coup d’etat.“ Against whom? He does not clearly identify whether he thinks such action should be taken against Trump if he refuses to leave the White House, or whether Steinburg is advocating sedition against the president-elect.

Sophia Nelson reports in The Daily Beast that she finds it alarming that tens of millions of our fellow Americans fear socialism, but cannot see the dangerous authoritarianism of Donald Trump — who has undermined our free democratic elections, refuses to concede he lost the election, attacks our intelligence agencies and public health officials, fired military and homeland security personnel who decline to support his insanity, and has called for militias to “liberate” states from federalism, presumably so states could substitute electors who would vote for him.

But even Republican state leaders want no part of setting such a dangerous precedent. Attempting to overturn the clear will of the people, expressed in a free and fair election, goes against the most basic tenet of our democracy.

The latest revelation in the chronic Trump cheat, as reported by Daily Beast editor Rachel Olding, is that Jared Kushner set up a shell company called “American Made Media Consultants, LLC” that funneled more than half of Trump’s $1.26 billion campaign war chest — more than $600 million — to Trump family businesses, and under the setup the Trump family was largely shielded from having to publicly report the financial details.

No wonder the Trump campaign’s huge war chest came up short in the final days: the Grifter in Chief had put $600 million of campaign contributions into his businesses and his family’s pockets.

The Bible calls it ill-gotten gain. The law might call it campaign finance fraud.

Martha Johnson is a resident of Elizabeth City.